There is a secret chant that runs in the mind of most gun owners. It goes something like this, ”What do we want? A solid performing 9mm handgun–that’s really inexpensive. When do we want it? Now!” OK, maybe it isn’t exactly like that, but the essence of the idea is true. Regardless, the team over at Taurus USA has taken it upon themselves to answer this call from the gun-owning public. The company's answer is the G3.
A quick trip to the time machine first, though. Taurus made a solid entry into the EDC handgun market when it released the G2c. It was a compact pistol that offered good ergonomics and reliable performance at a budget-friendly price. The G3 is the next evolution of that design and is equally as budget-friendly. It is a full-size gun that looks to carve out its own place on the EDC handgun market. It follows the G2 design as a simply styled, polymer, striker-fired handgun. The polymer design is one of the key factors in keeping the price down, as well as weight. Coming in at only 25 ounces, it is a very comfortable gun to carry.
The obvious Austrian elephant in the room is that the G3 is designed to be in the Glock G19 arena. This becomes even more obvious once you break the gun down and start having Glock flashbacks. It isn’t simply close to the internal design of a Glock; it is almost identical. While some may cringe at that, I welcomed it, as it was very easy to disassemble and clean.
The gun has some nice features, considering its price. They include good stippling patches across the grip, an ergonomic palm swell and side-frame “Memory Pads” to enhance control and repeatable hand positioning. These are recesses molded into the frame above the trigger guard, providing a natural rest point for your trigger finger before you're ready to shoot. The gun also has very uniform beveling along the front of the slide, as well as a larger bevel along the back of the slide. These features combine to make the gun a comfortable and snag-free carry option.
Following what feels like an ongoing howl from the gun community, Taurus has included front and rear serrations along the slide to ensure a no-slip grip while doing any manipulations. The G3 frame has an integrated Picatinny rail to allow for the addition of a light or laser if the shooter sees the need. It has a manual safety and slide-release lever positioned above the thumb for easy manipulation.
A refined element of the G3 is the 6-pound trigger, designed with a smooth take-up and a surprisingly crisp, clean break exceeding that of typical striker-fired pistol trigger performance. A short reset promotes quick, controlled follow-up shots. A few final nice features are the inclusion of drift-adjustable rear sight, loaded chamber indicator, steel guide rod and spring assembly, and the choice of carbon steel or stainless-steel finish.
To many, the section above can be summarized as “blah, blah, blah.” The real question is, “How does it shoot?” Honestly, the question of, “Does it run?” is a factor as well. The G series handguns are an attempt by Taurus to get past some reliability issues the company has had over the years. I even found myself being a bit cynical when I first picked it up and got ready to put rounds downrange, having not had the best experience in the world with some of Taurus' previous guns.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the gun cycled well and did indeed run. In fact, it ran quite well. During my testing, I used a variety of ammo ranging from inexpensive steel case to Federal Premium Hydra Shok Deep, and the gun ran it all. I did find it shot a little high, but that is minutia compared to overall function. It produced consistent groups in the two-inch range and was smooth in and out of the holster. When it was all said and done, I only had one failure to feed out of almost 400 rounds. So, yes, I believe Taurus has got its arms around any reliability issues with the G3.
The Taurus G3 is available in six different models, offering the consumer a selection in slide finish and magazine capacities. Magazine options include two 10-round mags, two 15-round mags, or one 15- and one 17-round mag. The G3 has an MSRP of $345.23 or $360.70, depending on model configuration. On the street, I have seen them in the $250 range, which makes them a great bargain and a lot of gun for the money.
Taurus G3 Specifications
Caliber: 9 mm
Overall Capacity: 10, 15, or 17 (with extended magazine)
Finish: Matte Black / Matte Stainless
Firing System: Single Action with Restrike Capability
Action Type: Striker
Safety: Manual and Trigger Safety, Striker Block
Sights Front: Fixed (White Dot)
Sights Rear: Drift Adjustable (White Dots)
Slide Material: Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel
Slide Finish: Matte Black / Matte Stainless
Overall Length: 7.30 inches
Overall Width: 1.25 inches
Barrel Overall Length: 4 inches
Overall Height: 5.20 inches
Overall Weight: 25 ounces (unloaded)
Magazines Included: 2 10-round, 2 15-round, or 1 15- and 1 17-round